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74% of MILF fighters already decommissioned —gov't


The second phase of the decommissioning of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants exceeded its target after 74% of fighters withdrew from service, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said Monday.

In a statement, the OPAPP said this figure exceeds their 51% target for December 2019.

“To date, the 74% of the 12,000 MILF combatants and 73% of the 2,100 firearms are already decommissioned,” Joint Normalization Committee (JNC) co-chair Ariel Hernandez said.

“We have over-performed in our decommissioning target. But what we really need to focus on is camp transformation.”

The JNC is a body tasked to carry out normalization, which is the second track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the product of years of on-and-off peace negotiations between the government and the MILF.

Normalization follows the political track that involved the passage and ratification of the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

MILF base commanders across Mindanao earlier gathered in Davao City for a two-day orientation workshop organized by the OPAPP.

Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said the gathering shows that “we are now starting to reap the dividends of peace.”

At the end of the workshop, Hernandez and the MILF base commanders signed a document detailing their major activities for community development planning in 2020.

Some of the activities agreed upon were the formation of a core group; conduct of an area scoping or project briefing; courtesy calls with mayors and barangays councils; secondary data gathering; training of trainers; formulation of a community development plan; and data validation and write-up.

The government and MILF aim to complete normalization with the signing of the Exit Agreement in 2022 right before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends. —Julia Mari Ornedo/KBK, GMA News

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